Summer used to be hot. Temperatures I couldn’t read followed by humidity I could feel through wet shirts and ball caps. I watched baseball and even played occasionally, not really knowing whether I loved it–and not caring. It’s what I did.
Summer was a dream of fireflies and roller skates. It was long days beginning in morning out of the house on a bicycle with a bunch of friends, riding to the K-Mart for Icees and coming home only to eat lunch, then dinner—then sleep. It was sleeping in the basement and it was grape soda and cookies.
It’s not anymore. Summer can be more worries and woes. Summer is pressure to see what’s next and the funnel opens in June at the end of a teaching year, knowing I have a “summer” in front of me–but before I know it, I find myself pacing the floor wondering what to do and frightened by the fact that at 50, I just got bored. I don’t know how to counter it. The summer dreams of youth where boredom only came after I conquered days of bicycles and creek-walks, firefly catching and baseball, trips to the ice cream shop and morning pancakes with butter and syrup–have vanished.
I don’t feel it anymore. I find something to do, but more often than not it isn’t what I want. I want to travel, but nine-years in a house we never could afford has prevented that now. I want to take my daughter to the beach, but she and I both sunburn so easily that we both have abnormal skin marks that need medical attention. I want to sit and barbecue corn and fish filets and maybe some shrimp for the girls–but I never get around to it.
Glimpses have come back–through hardened walls, I’ve begun to let go, or maybe it’s hang on, again. A couple of baseball games, a few trips to the ice cream store, though I don’t eat much of the stuff anymore. The feeling has come on me since we moved last spring that summer will be open again. I think I knew that this summer would limit us and I would not have the same experience I did even last summer with the extraordinary European adventure to our friends the Englisch’s in Austria.
But a time is coming when I’ll get back out with my family again to see our own country and maybe some more of others. I get a sense that we’ll get there and we’ll all cherish it as much as we did last year. I’m hopeful, but I’m not yet confident. The dreams have stopped–and I’m still trying to get them back.